“3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3–4 ESV.
We need to forgive. Christians are to forgive.
We need to forgive:
When you shamed us for refusal to live by lies
When you physically attacked for noncompliance
When you forced our unemployment
When you denied us the presence at family gatherings
When you forced needless death and injuries from untested procedures
When you caused death and injury from needless hospital delays and test denials
When you expelled students from schools and dampend career prospects
When you called us ‘killers’ and ‘haters’ and science deniers
When you rolled your eyes when we beleived that the pharmaceutical community might have ulterior motives
When you laughed at us for saying that the government is paid off by the pharmaceutical community
When you called us stupid for saying that media is complicit
When you ignored us when we complained about elderly dying alone
When you labelled us conspiracy theorists and tinfoil hat models
When you applauded when we were denied what is proved to be life-saving medications such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin
When you threw us under the bus
When you theatened to take away our children for our refusal to sacrifice them on the altar of health-care
For still being beholden to the Gospel Coalition while its leaders serve antiChrist: “you obey God by obeying the government.”
When you forced masking even on those who could not breathe
When you allow Chapters/Indigo to remain in business after their abuse of disabled children
When you condemned us for refusal to worship at the altar of safety
When you demanded churches close
When you heaped opprobrium upon pastors and truckers who protested the overreach of the Civil Government
When you forced us to pay out vast sums because of lockdowns and planned shortages, knowing that you intend this to go on indefinitely
When you taunted us with death (Biden) and called this the “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” when in fact it is the opposite.
When you hated us because we didn’t die off en masse, but are emerging healthier and happier than before, being thankful for our lives and the ability to focus on the future.
Now the Atlantic wants us to declare an amnesty. Actually, I’m all for it, and for forgiveness, but only on Christ’s terms. See the passage from Luke above: “if he repents” and “if he turns to you,” “repent” and “turn” are not synonymous, but serve to drive home the same point.
That is a big “if,” and if there is no repentance, no admission of guilt and culpability, no move to restitution, the deal is off. This turning is not expressed by, “I’m sorry you were offended or felt bad.” No, it is “I have attempted (or succeeded) in destroying your life, and have shredded the social fabric of our nation. It is as if I have taken a machete and hacked off your arm. Please forgive me, even though I do not deserve it.” Unconfessed sin is not forgiven.
The sin be admitted and confessed, named and owned. “ Oops, my bad” doesn’t get it.
Turning and repenting will mean at least this: an admission of guilt; naming the transgression and repudiating it; a determination to reject the behaviour in the future; a true sorrow for damage done and a real attempt to make restitution, knowing that restitution is impossible in many of the cases I listed above.
We were vilified, we were called “anti-science, homophobic, transphobic, and misogynist” by our Prime Minister on network television and you did not protest this. Rather, you re-elected it.
I can forgive, but without true repentance I cannot. It isn’t that I won’t forgive without true repentance, but with out a real repentance forgiveness is impossible.
If you believe the Atlantic article comes close to what is needed, we remain unreconciled.
I have heard nothing to the contrary.